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Broadcasting regulator paid nearly $9,000 to hang art in empty office

Author: James Wood 2020/11/24

Canada’s broadcasting regulator paid $8,761 for office art while the majority of its employees were working from home, according to records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“It makes zero sense to pay for art that barely anyone will ever lay eyes on, in the middle of a pandemic,” said Aaron Wudrick, the CTF’s Federal Director.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission regulates Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications. Its head office is in Gatineau, Que.

Office spending records released to the CTF show the agency spending $8,761 to rent art for one year, starting in April of 2020 and ending in March of 2021.

The art was received on Apr. 1, 2020, and paid for on Jun. 26, long after the majority of Ottawa bureaucrats were ordered to work from home.

The art now decorates eight rooms and hallways at the mostly-empty CRTC head office.

The CRTC defended the art expense, saying the deal had been finalized in January, and that it had been monitoring and evaluating all spending since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“If they are monitoring and evaluating all spending but somehow missed this obviously ridiculous expense, it really makes you wonder what else they are missing,” said Wudrick.